The Importance of Self-Acceptance
If you have been working on building your self-esteem and confidence, but feel like you aren’t making progress perhaps you need to take some time to reflect on how you think and feel about yourself. How much work have you done on self-acceptance? Accepting yourself is the first step towards building self-esteem. You cannot feel confident and self-assured if you can’t accept yourself.
What is self-acceptance?
the awareness of one's strengths and weaknesses,
the realistic (yet subjective) appraisal of one's talents, capabilities, and general worth, and,
feelings of satisfaction with one's self, despite deficiencies, and regardless of past behaviors and choices.
Without self-acceptance, change and building your confidence can be difficult. So, if you feel stuck and are not making progress may be the first challenge that needs attention is working on self-acceptance.
Some strategies to help you accept yourself, like and enjoy the person you are
Stop blaming your parents or your past
Maybe you had great parents or maybe you had terrible parents, but you are an adult now, so forgive your parents or thank them and move on. If you find it impossible to move on because of some childhood trauma, please seek help from a professional counselor. It is important that you find ways, either through professional help or other, to let go of your past and focus on the present.
Focusing on helping others or supporting a cause that is important to you is a great way to see the broader world and see what others are dealing with. There’s no better way to convince yourself that you’re worthy of self-acceptance.
Be proud of your strengths
It’s hard to find self-acceptance when you constantly remind yourself of your weaknesses. Compile a list of everything positive about you, and read it every day. Even the smallest positive attribute is worthy of mention.
“I am a good person.”
“I am a great cook.”
“I am loyal to my friends.”
Just as you need to forgive your parents or others who may have caused pain in your life, you need to forgive yourself. Think about some of the things that you need to forgive yourself for. Maybe you messed up a relationship and lost a great friend, or maybe you made a bad choice and are now kicking yourself. Well, think about what you learned in the process and then chalk up your bad choices to experience, and move on. You’ll do better next time.
Let go of unattainable goals
If you’re 57 years-old, the fact is, your childhood dream of winning the finals at Wimbledon are most likely over. That’s the way it is. There’s a time to let go. It is now! Make new goals and plans that are realistic and excite you.
Stop negative self-talk
You’ll never like yourself if you’re constantly insulting yourself. Some people use negative self-talk to make others laugh but be aware that your subconscious brain is taking in these negative words and re-enforcing other negative thoughts. Speak to yourself like the way you would a good friend, and be a friend - to yourself!
When you show the world a phony image, you will not be accepted for who you really are. When you’re authentic, the love you get feels better, and is more meaningful. Living honestly can be frightening, but the benefits are enormous.
Know that you are worthy
You were born for a reason. The world needs you! Think how much you can contribute if you apply yourself? You are valuable and needed.
Just as you need to forgive your parents and yourself, you need to forgive others and move on. You can focus on the present, when you are reliving bad experiences from the past. Make a list of people you need to forgive and then set about forgiving them – former friends, bosses, your siblings, your ex,…. Forgiveness doesn’t cost anything but the rewards are great.
No one is perfect. You accept your friends and family, even though they’re all flawed in some way or other. Give yourself the same latitude. Focus on your positive traits, and forgive yourself for your flaws and mistakes. Accept yourself as you are.